Cincinnati Metro riders will get some new wheels beginning this winter with the addition of 70 new buses arriving through the end of 2019.
Each bus will feature Wi-Fi, convenient on-board charging ports for customers to charge their electronic devices and will have plastic seats, a quality that will allow for easier cleaning and maintenance – all amenities specifically requested by riders.
By the end of 2018, 27 new buses will be added to Metro’s fleet. In 2019, 43 more will arrive, including six smaller 30 ft. “cutaway” buses that will be used on routes where ridership doesn’t warrant the capacity of a full-size bus. These smaller buses cost less to purchase than standard 40-foot buses and consume less fuel.
The new buses, which will replace some of Cincinnati Metro’s oldest in its fleet, were purchased with $26.1 million in federal grants awarded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI).
“We’re proud to be able to provide our riders with the amenities they expect and have asked for to make the choice of riding Metro a more enjoyable experience,” said Metro CEO & General Manager Dwight A. Ferrell. “These new buses will not only help us provide a better product to our customers, but will also help us reduce costs and create a more modern, efficient fleet, with lower emissions and a smaller footprint.”
The estimated cost to replace a 40-foot bus is nearly $500,000. Cincinnati Metro relies primarily on grants to fund its bus replacement program. By the end of 2018, Metro will still have 74 buses in its fleet that are 12 years or older and past their useful life cycle.
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) provided a required 20% local match for the new buses.
Cincinnati Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 14 million rides per year.